Upcoming Supreme Court Cases Could Put Affirmative Action on the Chopping Block

Originally published by Prism. The Supreme Court of the United States will soon hear two cases that have the potential to permanently change the racial makeup of college classrooms. This fall, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in cases against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), which argue that the affirmative action policies at both schools are discriminatory. The cases allege the universities break the law by looking at race, with a preference given to Indigenous, Black, and Latinx applicants — discriminating against white and Asian candidates. Especially in the case against Harvard,…

Oklahoma Teacher Disciplined for Sharing Access to Banned Books Has Quit

A high school English teacher in Oklahoma has resigned from her position after school officials placed her on administrative leave for sharing with her students a way to access books that the state banned educators from including in their lesson plans. Summer Boismier, who has taught in the state for the past nine years, began this year at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, by greeting her students with a unique display — bookshelves covered in red construction paper that read, “books the state doesn’t want you to read.” The display was meant to respond to legislation, signed into law…

Teachers Make 23.5 Percent Less Than Other College Graduates, a New High

Amid reports of teacher shortages across the U.S. numbering in the hundreds of thousands, along with violent and vicious far-right attacks on public schools, new research shows that teacher salaries are now at record lows. A report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) on Tuesday finds that, while there has long been a pay gap between teachers and comparable college graduates, that gap has recently reached its highest level since EPI began recording such data. In 2021, the report found, teachers’ weekly pay was 23.5 percent less on average than that of other college graduates, adjusted for age, education,…

The Supreme Court Is Now Forcing Taxpayers to Pay for Anti-Gay Religious Schools

Yesterday’s shameful Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade was telegraphed months ago. But, during the angst-laden wait for the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe, the court, so radically reshaped during the Donald Trump years, made hay trashing other vital precedents in its stampede to remake the country’s legal priorities in an extreme-right direction. This court will, with the Roe ruling and with a slew of other rulings from the past weeks, go down as arguably the most destructive court in United States history, certainly the most destructive in the post-Civil War era. The six members who make up the…

Thanks to Republicans and Manchin, We May Get Only “Prayers” as Children Die

Entropy (noun): “A process of degradation or running down; a trend to disorder; the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity.” –Merriam-Webster Dictionary On April 20, 1999, two students entered Columbine High School in Colorado dressed and armed for war. When they were finished, 12 fellow students and 1 teacher were dead, and scores more were injured. While not the first actual mass shooting in a U.S. school, the Columbine massacre is widely viewed as the beginning of an age of in-school gun violence that has accelerated in accumulated horror with…

Minnesota Lawmaker Proposes Eradicating Funding for Early Childhood Education

A far right Minnesota state legislator, upset with increases in state funding for early childhood education, has called for the complete eradication of a legislative committee tasked with creating and funding programs meant to give children in the state access to such learning. Republican State Rep. Steve Drazkowski decried increases in publicly-funded early childhood education while speaking on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives this week. His approach to child-rearing is short-sighted, as he didn’t appear to address in his comments how parents would manage to be able to raise their children without funding from the government, which…

Canceling Student Debt Is Morally Right. It’s Also Good Politics for Democrats.

American indebtedness has never been higher than it is today — and now functioning as the nation’s largest consumer bank, the Department of Education is the clearest culprit of the creditors. Uniquely situated as the lender, regulator and debt collector, the federal government has a $1.6 trillion federal student loan portfolio. Needlessly extracting wealth from 47 million people, this cloud of debt is systemically preventing communities from the opportunity to buy a home, start a family or save for retirement. But with a simple executive order, Biden can switch the reality of predatory loans that burden families into liberating financial…

More Book Bans Sought in 2021 Than Any Other Point in Past 20 Years, Group Says

Findings from a library organization published on Monday showcase that efforts from right wing groups and parents across the country to restrict access to books represent the highest number of challenges to book titles since the year 2000. According to the American Library Association (ALA), which has been tracking such challenges for over 20 years, more than 700 challenges were made in 2021. These efforts to ban books were directed toward ones that were written by or depict the lives of Black or LGBTQ individuals. “ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and…

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